Linear + Streaming Upfronts

Posted on July 2, 2024 by Media Culture

Topics: Press

This article was originally featured on MediaPost. 

The current outlook for the TV ad market, particularly for upfront TV ad sales, appears to be sluggish for both traditional and digital-first platforms. Historically, a weak upfront market would lead to a strong scatter market, but the current situation is more complex. TV ad sellers are trying to enhance upfront revenue by integrating expensive sports content and adding costs for programmatic buying, business outcomes, and additional data services.

The overall market health remains uncertain, despite a period of steady growth and diminishing recession fears. Legacy TV networks are still grappling with consistent profitability, compounded by declines in gross rating points and the introduction of ad-supported streaming options like Amazon Prime Video, which has significantly increased ad inventory and driven down CPMs.

New streaming ad inventory from services like Disney+ and Netflix is also entering the market, but it’s not expected to have a major impact. Analysts predict that while the linear TV advertising scatter market will remain largely unchanged, the streaming scatter revenue will decline.

Interestingly, the upfront market for streaming inventory is expected to grow significantly, reflecting the ongoing shift in viewing habits. As brands continue to see the value in streaming, they are likely to increase their investment in upfront streaming advertising, aligning with the rising share of streaming viewership. This trend indicates a notable shift in where advertisers are placing their bets, favoring the growth and potential of streaming platforms over traditional TV.

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